Best Cars for Economic Horsepower

Best Cars for Economic Horsepower

Top Vehicles for Dollar per Horsepower


An attractive car is much more than just its engine size and how many cup holders it has. When you’re on the hunt for a performance bargain, horsepower and dollars matter – Specifically, getting the most horsepower for the least dollar. At this point in your search, you may find yourself asking what is power truly worth? Here, we take a look at some of the top cars with the best economic horsepower.


2005–09 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo

Power: 750 hp

Good condition value: $550,000

Price per horsepower: $733

The naturally-aspirated S7 debuted in 2000 as a homologation special, letting the S7R loose on the endurance racing circuit on both sides of the pond—over the model’s nine-year career, it notched class wins at both the 12 Hours of Sebring (2001) and 24 Hours of Le Mans (2010). However, the S7 Twin Turbo’s 750 horses, racing legacy, and American-built goodness don’t come cheaply.


2004–10 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

Power: 617 hp

Good condition value: $202,000

Price per horsepower: $327

The SLR McLaren is one noisy vehicle thanks to a dry-sump 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 shoved almost 20 inches behind the front axle and nearly underneath your nose. Even so, you’ve got a polarizing, powerful coupe that rings in at roughly $327 per horsepower, roughly half the S7 Twin Turbo’s metric.


2015+ Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Power: 707 hp

Good condition value: $51,000

Price per horsepower: $72

The Hellcat was king of the hill for three years before the Demon knocked it off its pedestal; but if you’re looking for a high-po Mopar daily driver, you’ll likely prefer the Hellcat’s more-friendly suspension setup and better sound dampening.


2012–15 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe

Power: 580 hp

Good condition value: $32,000

Price per horsepower: $55

King of this numbers-slinging batch is the fifth-gen Chevy Camaro ZL1. Stickering for roughly $55K when new in 2012, the Camaro ZL1 still stakes a claim to the bargain performance space.


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